Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Safe Driving Practices & Things To Remember When Purchasing A New Family Car ♥

Since becoming a mother I've become a much better and more safety conscious driver. My hands are now always in the 'ten to two' position on the steering wheel, I'm more alert and aware of other road users and I never speed. In fact, I've never had any points on my driving license - thank goodness - but I know how easy demerit points are to pick up, even for the slightest of driving offenses. If you were driving on Australian roads it would be very easy for you to lose demerit points in NSW.

I think it's being aware of the precious cargo of my two sons I'm driving around now, that have helped me to be a more careful driver. After all, it's my job as their mother to keep them safe and the car is one of the places that I take maximum care with them - I hear of too many road traffic accidents in our local area not to be vigilant with our safety in the car.

I've been needing a new car for quite some time now. My current car is a three door and although I've now gotten used to getting both kids into the car in a quick and easy manner, I know that a five door would be so much easier, especially for getting Beau in and out of his swivel car seat.

I also need a bigger boot. I have a Silver Cross Pioneer pram for Beau which I'm planning on using until he stops using a buggy altogether, and the chassis is slightly bigger than a normal buggy so I need a roomy boot for fitting it all in - at the moment it just fits, but then there's no room for bags, shopping, etc.

Getting a new car can be quite costly though. I don't mind getting a second hand car but I need something reliable and if I'm honest, I'd actually love to get a new car, something which I can have for many years and not have to worry about upcoming repairs, NCT, etc.

There are a few things I'll be keeping in mind when purchasing a new car and I thought I'd share these with any fellow parents who are contemplating purchasing a new family car.

1. Safety is a priority
No parent is willingly going to put their children in an unsafe car, hence why I'm more inclined to want a new car. However, if you're going for a second hand car make sure you do thorough checks before purchasing. Bring a mechanic or a family member who you know is knowledgeable about cars, with you to the viewing and let them check the specifics of the car and determine in just how good a condition it is. Also, make sure to pay special attention to tyres as they are crucial for keeping the car in road worthy condition.

2. Determine your budget
Although I know I would love a brand new car, I know that it would be quite costly and with two kids to pay for I have to judge whether or not I can take on an extra bill every month. If you think you can afford it then car finance can be a great route to go down when it comes to being able to purchase your new car and pay back it back on a weekly or monthly basis, but remember to look carefully at the interest rate (APR) to make sure you're getting a good deal. This is an option I'm currently looking into, I just need to work out my monthly budget.

3. Take your family size into account (and if it'll be growing some more!)
As I said I need a five door car as I have two children. There's no point in sticking with a small car just because you've had it for a long time. I need more space in the car and I really do need those extra doors for getting everyone in and out easily.

It's important to take into account how much space you'll need for car seats and booster seats as your child will be using them for a considerable time. We're using the Maxi Cosi Axissfix with Beau and the Graco Milestone All-in-one with Tyler, which are both quite large car seats, so having the right amount of space to fit them both correctly is crucial. Also, it's important to think about whether or not your family will be growing some more, going for a bigger car can help you in the future by not having to upgrade or change your car again too soon.

4. The Economical Aspects
It's important to take into account, when changing your car - the cost of insurance on the new car - whether it will be going up or down, how much tax you'll have to pay on the car each year and petrol/diesel costs (if you're going up an engine size). My current car is only a one litre and is quite cheap to run and tax, hence why I've been slow to change it. I'll be considering the economical aspects before I purchase a new car as these will also have to be factored into my monthly budget.

5. The age of the car
I've recently discovered that some insurance companies are refusing to accept new policies on cars that are over ten years old. This means that you could be shelling out money on a car that's perfect for you, only to then not be able to insure it. If you can afford to get a newer car then definitely go for it.

Remembering these four tips will help you to choose the right car for your family and your budget.

*This is a collaborative post.


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